I’ve been laid off.
When the manager who’s rarely seen in the office before 11am IMs you at 8:30am asking whether you could please join her in the conference room you know exactly what is coming.
As of 9am this past Friday my project is officially scrapped (pronounced “indefinitely postponed”) and I am laid off, effective immediately.
In truth I’m surprised the project wasn’t tabled much earlier. I feel it had never received much support internally and was held back from achieving any sort of momentum. For the past couple of months I had been trying to get my manager to give me a firm answer about the future of the project. Even vague answers were not forthcoming, which as far as I was concerned was an answer in itself. I seemed to be the last person in the organization committed to bringing the project to life which meant the writing as already on the wall for it.
The layoff, on the other hand, caught me entirely off guard. Certainly it had occurred to me that if the project was tossed on the heap it was possible that I would be cut loose as well. However at an all-hands meeting just the month before we were all told that while we weren’t going to be doing more hiring that year everyone who was currently there were secure and going nowhere, so any suspicions I may have had were laid to rest. The project may go away but I would be allowed to assist in other ways.
Unfortunately that turns out not to be the case.
Do I agree with their decision? Don’t be daft, of course I don’t. However I understand why they made it. The organization is a non-profit and is therefore somewhat cautious with its finances. I was intensely sensitive to this issue and was constantly on the lookout for ways to improve efficiency and increase our bang to buck ratio. With my prior experience as director of software engineering and project management, finding those efficiency improvements was easy. It was like shooting fish in a barrel, I’m sorry to say. Yet I felt my hands were tied and I was not allowed to engage with others but superficially, leaving my skills and desire to help a mystery to most everyone. I really should not have been surprised when they let me go. I deem it short-sighted and wasteful but from their point of view it made sense because they didn’t know otherwise.
I should mention that this was, for me, a dream job. It is an organization which I have followed, supported and loved for over a decade. I was overjoyed to be given the opportunity to contribute. Despite this unfortunate decision I still have the highest respect for the mission of the organization and intend to continue following and supporting it. I will just do so somewhat cynically for a while until the sting of this wound fades.
So what’s next for me? Well, first of all I have given myself permission to take this week off. I get to relax and not worry about anything. Next Monday the job hunt begins. Who knows what that will bring? In the meantime I will work on my own projects, crafty and otherwise. Perhaps I will blog more often. Undoubtedly there is an open source project or two which could use a hand. Maybe I’ll finally get around to learning how to use git properly. During the hiatus I’ll take the opportunity to start taking care of myself better, something which is much overdue. Some of my free hours will likely be spent assisting Funston Brewing as Head Bottling Wench. That could be fun.
Regardless, it sucks rocks right now but it’ll end well. This is an opportunity to make changes and I intend to take full advantage of it.
C’mon world, bring it on.
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